Emiliano Sala’s sister has led the tributes to the popular footballer after it emerged it was his body that was pulled from the wreckage of a plane at the bottom of the English Channel.
Romina Sala posted a picture of her brother on Instagram showing him with his arms spread and looking up to the sky while standing on the halfway line at the Stade de la Beaujoire – home of his former club FC Nantes.
She used the caption to write an eulogy to the Argentinian striker, which read: "Your soul in my soul it will shine forever thus illuminating the time of my existence. I love you, tito."
Fellow footballers have also reacted to confirmation of his death, which came almost three weeks after his plane crashed en route from Nantes, France, to Cardiff.
And Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri – who had joined calls for the search for the plane to be resumed after it was called off – also posted on Twitter, sending his condolences to Sala’s family, adding: "We are with you".
View this post on Instagram
Tu alma en mi alma brillará por siempre, iluminando así, el tiempo de mi existir. Te amo tito.
A post shared by Romina Sala (@salaromina) on
FC Nantes announced on Friday they would be retiring the No. 9 shirt in honour of their former striker.
The light aircraft was piloted by David Ibbotson, who has not been found.
Cardiff City Football Club, to which Sala had recently signed for a club record £15 million, said in a statement: "We offer our most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the family of Emiliano.
"He and David will forever remain in our thoughts."
In full | Statement from FC Nantes
Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, a fellow Argentinian, tweeted: "Rest in peace, Emiliano. My condolences to his friends and family." He signed off the tweet with the hashtag Pray For Sala.
Arsenal player Mesut Ozil wrote: "No words to describe how sad this is. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and also to the family of the pilot. RIP Sala."
Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy tweeted an image of Sala, while Paris Saint-Germain footballer Kylian Mbappe – who Sala was battling with for the top scorer title in Ligue 1 in France – wrote simply: "RIP EMI."
Everton player Oumar Niasse, who is currently on loan to Cardiff City, tweeted: "RIP Emiliano Sala. Forever in our thoughts."
The stream of tweets paying tribute to Emiliano Sala
#SOUCAR | Both teams will be wearing black armbands at tomorrow’s match in honour of Emiliano Sala.
A minute’s silence will also be held ahead of the game.
Forever in our hearts. Forever a Bluebird! 💙#CityAsOne pic.twitter.com/Ur6wNkdsU4
— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) February 8, 2019
Burnley will wear black armbands at Brighton tomorrow following the tragic news regarding the death of Cardiff City striker Emiliano Sala. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of both Emiliano, David Ibbotson and our friends at Cardiff City Football Club. pic.twitter.com/M7PslC6ByF
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) February 8, 2019
Rest in peace, Emiliano Sala. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 8, 2019
Tragic… May you rest in peace. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ybrax86w1t
— Sol Bamba (@Sol14Bamba) February 7, 2019
Such awful news. Rest In Peace Emiliano. Thoughts a prayers go out to his family and friends and all involved in this tragedy pic.twitter.com/MBXub7zxbH
— Mark Hudson (@M_Hudson5) February 8, 2019
Rest in peace, Emiliano Sala 🙏🏽
Condolences to the families of Emiliano and the pilot. pic.twitter.com/EDKsbxpmTg
— Jerome Boateng (@JB17Official) February 8, 2019
Emiliano Sala & Mr Ibbotson 😢💙🙏🏾 No words can describe this sad story. #mmlove #angel pic.twitter.com/XS9PhEpAlX
— Mario Melchiot (@MarioMelchiot) February 8, 2019
Repose en Paix champion @EmilianoSala1 ❤️🙏🏾❤️ pic.twitter.com/3KWegBp0Tl
— Mamadou Niang (@mamadniang11) February 8, 2019
Rest in peace Sala 😢🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/UWqkKGwtb9
— Diogo Dalot (@DalotDiogo) February 8, 2019
Devastating, RIP Emiliano 😢 thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends x pic.twitter.com/PLo53MNyCH